"I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." Isaiah 43:25
I was thinking yesterday about God's character and his actions. In one sense, God is of course completely free, completely sovereign: he is all-powerful and there is nothing that can restrain Him or His decisions. But what God chooses to do, his will and his actions, flows out from Who He Is - from His unchanging character.
This verse from Isaiah comes from the middle of a long passage where God is reminding the Israelites of their own sin, and his mercy towards them. In this verse he explains through Isaiah that He blots out (completely covers over) their trangressions (or sin, or disobedience).
But God's glorious act of salvation in Christ is not an arbitrary choice of His, as if from nowhere. In a sense, it couldn't be any other way. Why? Because that is who He is ("I, even I, am he...", v25)! Our God is the God who blots out trangression, who completely covers over sin by giving of Himself that we might share in His righteousness and goodness. He fundamentally is a saving God, and His plan and action of salvation is the outflowing of His eternally unchanging gracious character.
This is hugely assuring for us. Sometimes I think we wonder if God's promises will really hold: is God's forgiveness just on a whim? Will he change his mind? No: God is a saving God, the God who blots out transgressions. He is completely sovereign; but completely consistent with His character. Our salvation is secure because God is unchanging. And so too, it makes us reflect on the God whom we love and worship. God's plan of salvation is not merely a decision of his; it reflects Who He Is: a self-giving, saving God.